Our Musical Director

Paul Ayres

Paul Ayres, our musical director

Our musical director and conductor Paul Ayres is a local chap - he was born in Perivale, and grew up in Northolt and Ruislip. Since graduating from Oxford University, he has worked freelance as a choral conductor, keyboard player and composer.

In addition to working as Questors Choir's musical director, he conducts City Chorus and the student choir at London College of Music (based at the University of West London). Paul is the accompanist of Concordia Voices and of Harrow Choral Society, and associate accompanist of Crouch End Festival Chorus. He has led many music education workshops for children, and played piano for improvised comedy shows and musical theatre.

Paul's music is widely performed and published, and his works have been awarded, or shortlisted for, composition prizes in Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. He has received over one hundred commissions for new works, and he particularly enjoys "re-composing" classical works (Purcell, Bach, Handel, Fauré) and "classicising" pop music (jazz and show tunes, The Beatles, Happy Hardcore).

Please see www.paulayres.co.uk for more information.

Benedict Lewis-Smith, our musical accompanist

Benedict Lewis-Smith was a specialist musician and organ scholar at Wells Cathedral School, Somerset before becoming organ scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford (2007–2010). Previously Director of Music at St George’s School, Windsor Castle, he is now Director of Music at St Columba’s Church of Scotland, Knightsbridge, and also works with choirs at Westminster School and Hill House International Preparatory School in London.
In addition he enjoys a substantial freelance career in London which includes vocal coaching, accompanying and conducting. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and recently recorded on the digital label Resonus Classics. Recent performances include recitals in the Victoria International Arts Festival, Gozo, and a concert tour of Buenos Aires, where he delivered classes in English song to the students at the Departamento de Artes Musicales y Sonoras.